How to Use Action Verbs for a Resume – With Examples

action verbs for a resume

When applying for jobs, each section of your resume must be strategically optimized to hook readers and give insight into your experience. Using powerful action verbs for a resume can help strengthen your case and allow you to stand out from other candidates. Learn why action verbs are so important and how you can use them to showcase your incredible achievements! 

What Are Action Verbs?

Action verbs are words that convey the act of doing rather than the state of being. They are used to express specifically how you took action to accomplish a goal. There are two types of action verbs: Physical and mental. Physical action verbs refer to an action that requires movement, while mental refers to an action you use your brain to do. On a resume, you are most likely to use mental action verbs. 

Using Action Verbs for a Resume

Action verbs emphasize the impact of the information you’re sharing. On your resume, more specifically, they allow the reader more insight into what exactly you did in your previous roles. For example, instead of stating you were “responsible for the XYZ process,” you would use an action verb to explain that you “executed the XYZ process,” or “administered the XYZ process.” 

Many resumes contain the same old standard bullets and phrases that lend more detail to job duties rather than accomplishments. Incorporating strong action verbs into your resume provides a meaningful context for hiring managers and helps your application stand out. In fact, software scanners look for action verbs when filtering for top candidates. 

Examples of Strong Action Verbs

Did you lead a project from start to finish? Here are some action words that could be used to describe your role in the process:

  • Orchestrated 
  • Executed 
  • Managed 
  • Coordinated 
  • Administered 
  • Delegated 

For example: Orchestrated a company-wide social media campaign that resulted in 30k impressions and 25 qualified leads. 

Were you responsible for thinking of and implementing a new system in the workplace? If so, consider using words like these to explain your contributions: 

  • Devised
  • Developed 
  • Formulated 
  • Founded 
  • Initiated 
  • Pioneered 

For example: Devised a comprehensive outline for training the team on the company’s new CRM system. 

If you’re someone who has worked to improve productivity among your team, don’t stop there. Use the following types of words to describe your involvement in the process: 

  • Accelerated
  • Amplified 
  • Capitalized 
  • Expedited 
  • Generated 
  • Maximized 

For example: Accelerated client video calls by implementing a templated schedule to reduce call time and improve productivity. 

Are you the reason your old department switched project management software? Take credit for the change by using words like: 

  • Converted 
  • Integrated 
  • Modernized 
  • Overhauled 
  • Revamped 
  • Strengthened 

For example: Converted the entire marketing department to new project management software and established procedures for using the system. 

Optimizing your resume can feel like a daunting process. However, incorporating action verbs into your resume is a small adjustment that will make a HUGE impact. Interested in learning more? Read on for additional insights: Are Cover Letters Still Necessary?

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